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Tips for Parents to Encourage Responsibility
Check out the Just for Kids pages for an animal analogy and a biographic sketch
Parents - If you haven't already read the pages on "Developing Character in Your Children," you might want to go there first before reading these pages.
Try helping your child make a "responsibility chart. Using a half sheet of colorful poster board, have your child make a picture of an eagle sitting on its nest, with the lower sheet of the chart describing his duties.

Picture:
- Using the coloring picture of the eagle as a model, tear some strips of brown or black
construction paper to form the tree trunks.
- Lightly sketch the nest with
pencil.
- Color and cut out the female
eagle and glue her onto the
nest. She can be decorated
with small pieces of torn
construction paper, if you wish.
- Each time your child fulfills a
responsibility, let him glue a
small twig onto the nest.

Chart:
- List the responsibilities that you have assigned your child.
- Discuss and list the steps involved in fulfilling each responsibility.
- Reward your child's progress with praise and with getting to glue twigs onto the nest.

Responsibility Chart
One of the main goals of parenting is to raise responsible adults. A skillful and wise parent will begin to require responsibility of their children, even at a very young age, but being careful not to place responsibilities on a child that are unsuitable for his age (such as asking a young child to baby-sit a younger sibling.)

For example, even a baby can be gently taught to remain still while his diaper is being changed, toddlers can be taught to put away their toys, and small children can learn to use 'inside voices' and to be quiet when they are in situations where it is necessary. They learn at an early age that it is their responsibility to obey and respect their parents and other adult authorities, to restrain themselves from hurting others by hitting and harmful words, to take care of property, and to apply themselves to learn all they can to develop their talents. Of course, as they grow older, they can learn responsibility by sharing in the family chores (even toddlers can help with small tasks such as folding wash cloths or fetching small objects to help Mom.)

Balancing responsibility with privilege is important in raising responsible adults. With successful performance of small tasks, the child earns the privilege of having more responsibility, but also more privilege and rights. Being allowed to demand rights before he has learned to be responsible causes a child to grow into a self-centered, immature adult. A wise parent who carefully explains this concept to their children and disciplines and gives rewards in a balanced manner will be the parent who raises responsible adults--the leaders of the future.


--Character First